Analysing My Own Games: Queen Endings are so Rich in Ideas

Analysing My Own Games: Queen Endings are so Rich in Ideas

Sep 10, 2015, 9:31 PM |
I find endings provide the most instructive lessons from my games. That's almost the reason why blitz/rapid play games do little for your endgame understanding because you don't get to invest the energy properly into quality calculating, schemes and planning.
In this game, I was Black and whilst the result is that I won, in reality I lost due to my opponent's mouse slip.
This was the first time I've played on the Black side of a Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) in a French Tarrasch and I prematurely advanced my d-pawn. I have since become aware through the book "Chess Structures" by Rios that it is critical to preserve the dark squared Bishop for Black's chances.
My best practical chance lay in entering a Queen ending a pawn down, but using my h-pawn to advance and open his King.
GM Bojkov analysed this game for me and suggested many stunning resources.
I have also provided 3 exceptional model games by Botvinnik and Tal in this opening, more from White's view point in fighting against the IQP in the French Tarrasch.
Now to the training questions that arose from my game, followed by annotations and analysis.

Training Question: White to Move
Black has just played ... d4.
How can White exploit this move?

Training Question: White to Move
In the game, White played Ne4. How could he have improved on this move?

Training Question: Black to Move
With White's pieces so active, what is Black's best practical chance?

Training Question: Black to Move
In this Queen Ending, Black is a pawn down. White has just played f4.
What is Black's best move to disrupt White's safety?

Training Question: Black to Move
What is Black's best move?

Training Questions: Black to Move
Can you find a way for Black to restrict White's play? 

Training Question: Black to Move
Find the best move for Black to secure a draw?

Training Question: Kh6 or Kh8?
A critical decision for Black. Should he play Kh6 or Kh8 (and why). One must calculate.

Training Question: White to Move
My opponent found a great idea to win the game. Can you find it?

Game Annotations and Analysis (with recommendations from GM Bojkov)

Model Games: Botvinnik vs Bolesavsky, USSR Ch 1941 Game 1



Observe Botvinnik's Be3 idea and securing of the c5 square for Knight.

After locking the Queenside, he advances his Kingside pawns to ultimately obtain the 7th rank for his Rook.

In a model Rook game, he centralises his King to the Queenside to create an outside passed pawn on the a-file.

This is purely a diversion to ultimately win the pawn d-pawn.

Instructive is 46. Rc5+ and Black's King must choose which side of the board he will go to (after which White will go the other way, with the Black King cut off).


Model Games; Botvinnik vs Bolesavsky, USSR Ch 1941 Game 2


Botvinnik improves on his first encounter with Boleslavsky by inserting 11. Bxc6+ to create a dark square blockade at d4 and c5 for his Knights.

Instructive is the Queen manouevre Qd1-d2-c3 followed by b4 which supports this dark square blockade.

27. Qxc6! is a cute tactic exploiting the back rank, as is 29. Nxe5! exploiting the fork.

30. Qxe8!! is simply outstanding in the cleanest way to convert a won position.

The Rook Ending after 34. Rb1 is text book material: advance the b-pawn to tie down Black's King.

Then advance Kingside pawns, create secondary weakness. Trade the b-pawn for a Kingside pawn, and with Black's King far removed use a Building a Bridge.

I would rank this as one of the most instructive games of chess, and it's inspired to mark this for a blog entry later.


Model Games: Tal's Endgame Technique

Now look at Tal implementing this same plan of the dark squared blockade after 11. Bxc6+

His opponent tries ... Ba6-c4 but these leaves d7 unprotected for a threatened Knight fork after Ne5.

The awkward position of Black's Rook at b7 allows the win of the b-pawn.

Up a pawn, it's instructive how Tal converts this into a win by solidifying his Knight with b3 and the a4-a5, exchanging a pair of Rooks.

The Knight at c4 almost controls all the action, forcing the exchange of another pair of Rooks due to the threatened a-pawn, and then from a5 the Knight drives the c-pawn home.